Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy
A recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show focused on PEMF or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy, calling it “The Revolutionary Cure For Pain”. You can watch that episode of the show below.
Does PEMF work?
The FDA has already approved PEMF therapy devices for treatment of post-operative pain. It has approved one device for treatment of depression, and others for stimulating broken bones to fuse and heal.
Like so many things in medicine, it takes time for new idea’s and new types of treatment to catch on. This is especially true in a medical world that believes almost solely in drugs and surgery, giving little credence to “energy”. Modern medicine has yet to embrace what modern physics has already proven, that everything is energy. This is true of biological systems like the human body which are highly electrical and magnetic.
So the answer to “Does PEMF work?” is “Yes, it does work.” We are seeing astounding results with PEMF. We don’t know fully why it works or how it works, but it is working.
Pain Relief With PEMF
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in the form of research studies and case histories demonstrating the ability of pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy to relieve pain. What sort of painful conditions are relieved? Let’s look at some of the research studies.
Relief of pain arising from whiplash injuries.
Researchers used PEMF therapy to treat patients suffering neck pain after auto accident whiplash injuries. They also treated cases of radiating pain into the legs caused by pressure on nerves in the low back to compare the outcomes. The researchers concluded “pulsed magnetic fields appear to have a considerable and statistically significant potential for reducing pain in cases of lumbar radiculopathy and whiplash syndrome.” In this study both of these conditions improved with PEMF therapy.
Relief of pain in joints.
PEMF is proving sucessful in relieving joint pain. A large 11 year study of 3014 patients suffering from joint pain of various causes demonstrates this. Patients received 15-40 minute PEMF treatments daily for 10-15 days. Joint pain disappeared in 78.8% of the patients. For those who experienced relief of pain, there was an average of 40-50% increase in the range of motion of the previously painful joint. Those patients who participated in therapeutic exercise after the PEMF treatments had the best results.
Generally better results with PEMF are seen in joint conditions involving isolated joints (osteoarthritis, joint sprains, pain from traumatic injuries). Disorders involving multiple joints (ie. rheumatoid arthritis) are slower to respond to treatments.
Rotator cuff tendinitis
In yet another experiment researchers tested the benefit of PEMF therapy in patients suffering rotator cuff tendinitis. They concluded that “these findings demonstrate the ability of PEMF stimulation to reduce pain and increase activity among individuals suffering from rotator-cuff tendinitis and are unresponsive to corticosteroid injections.”
Summary of pain conditions responding to PEMF
The following types of pain have been shown to respond favorably to PEMF:
- Osteoarthritis (throughout the body, ie neck, shoulders, wrists and fingers, back, hips, knee’s, ankles, feet)
- Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica)
- Whiplash syndrome (neck pain following auto accident injury)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Pelvic pain
- Migraine headaches
Other Applications of PEMF
Research shows significant benefit of PEMF treatments for other types of health issues as well. Here are some of them:
- Diabetic polyneuropathy
- Bone healing (osteoporosis, osteopenia, bone fractures)
- Skin wound healing (burns, non-healing wounds, venous ulcers, chronic varicose ulcers)
- and more…
What is a PEMF treatment like?
PEMF treatments are as simple as lying down. The picture below shows the set up for a treatment.
The green mat on the treatment table contains two coils that emit pulses of an electromagnetic field. The mat is good for treating the full spine, pelvis or legs. A larger full body mat is used to treat osteoporosis, relieve insomnia and promote general health.
A smaller pad is visible on top of the mat. It contains a higher power coil that is also used to focus the electromagnetic field on more specific body parts. Other coils of different sizes are also used, for instance for hands, feet, ankles, shoulders, etc.
During a treatment you may feel some sensation arising from the pulsed electromagnetic field, or you may just feel warmth.
There is an almost universal experience of relaxation during the treatments.
How long do treatments last?
We find that a 30 minute treatment achieves great results. Our PEMF unit has a 20 and a 30 minute cycle, depending on which therapeutic settings we designate.
How PEMF works.
The following video discusses the electromagnetic dynamics of cell function. It speaks of the charge potential (voltage potential) between the nucleus and cell membrane in healthy cells and how PEMF treatments restore this healthy electromagnetic charge in cells.
Another video that explains in much greater depth how PEMF works
Here’s another instructive video that explains how and why PEMF can be so helpful for so many different conditions.